Barry Williams, who starred as Greg Brady in the classic sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” will be grand marshal of the 2020 Doo Dah Parade in Ocean City on April 18 and return that night to emcee the Mr. Mature America Pageant.Williams began his acting career at age 11 and appeared in shows such as “Dragnet,” “Gomer Pyle,” “The Mod Squad” and “Mission Impossible” before landing his iconic role as America’s most reliable big brother in “The Brady Bunch.”He performed in the title role of the Broadway musical “Pippin” and has appeared in more than 85 other musical theater productions. He is an author, has worked as a SiriusXM DJ and entertained troops on world USO tours. He currently lives in Branson, Mo., with his wife, Tina, and plays in the musical trio Barry Williams and the Travelers.He will also serve as emcee for Ocean City’s Mr. Mature America Pageant, which mixes self-deprecating humor with nostalgia and talent in a tribute to men ages 55 and older. His hosting duties for the event will include conducting on-stage interviews with contestants.Now in its seventh year, the pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18 on the Ocean City Music Pier. It is the first and only pageant of its kind in the United States. The pageant includes competition in talent, judge’s interview, poise and appearance, and on-stage question.Tickets for the show will go on sale Thursday, Jan. 23, and will be available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling 609-399-6111 or at Ocean City’s welcome centers at City Hall and on the Route 52 causeway.Registration is now open for any contestant 55 or older who would like to participate. The Ocean City Music Pier crowd is raucous and appreciative as the contestants ham it up on stage, competing in talent, poise and interview segments.If you have what it takes to be the world’s next “Mr. Mature” (or if you can talk somebody into it), complete the online entry form available at www.ocnj.us/mrmature or call Michael Hartman at 609-525-9284 for more information. Deadline for sign-ups is March 15.Jack Merritt, 69, of West Grove, Pa., is crowned Mr. Mature America 2019.The Mr. Mature Pageant takes place on the evening of the Doo Dah Parade on April 18 to cap off a day filled with humor and nostalgia.Registration also is open for any individuals, groups or businesses who want to participate in the Doo Dah Parade at noon that day. Joining the parade is a great way to bring awareness to your business or cause before the summer season. Sign up at www.ocnj.us/Doo-Dah-Parade.The Doo Dah Parade was first held in Ocean City in 1986 as an event to herald the end of income tax season. It featured unusual entries like beach chair drill teams and fan clubs of legendary comedians.The parade begins on Asbury Avenue at Sixth Street, proceeds to 12th Street and turns east to the Boardwalk. It finishes on the Boardwalk at Fifth Street. For more than a decade, the parade has been anchored by a legion of dogs from the Basset Hound Rescue League.Los Lobos joins 2020 summer concert series:Tickets for a June 23 concert by Los Lobos – whose 1987 cover of “La Bamba” topped the charts – at the Ocean City Music Pier will go on sale Friday, Jan. 24. Los Lobos will be joined by Alejandro Escovedo. A presale (use code “BRE”) will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. Los Lobos joins a stellar lineup for the 2020 Summer Concert Series at the Music Pier.Ticket sales are also open for the following shows:Get The Led Out: A perennial favorite tribute to Led Zeppelin. 7 p.m. Monday, June 22. TicketsJudy Collins and Arlo Guthrie: Two folk legends share the stage in Ocean City. 7 p.m. Monday, June 29. TicketsKiller Queen: The premier Queen tribute featuring Patrick Myers as Freddie Mercury. 7 p.m. Monday, July 13. TicketsStraight No Chaser: An a cappella group with a wide repertoire and viral appeal. 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 20. TicketsMarshall Tucker Band and Pure Prairie League: Bands who helped invent Southern rock and country rock. 7 p.m. Monday, August 24. TicketsTickets for these shows are available only through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com. A limited number of tickets may be available through the Music Pier Box Office in the spring. The Music Pier is on the Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace. A book sale will be held Feb. 7 in the atrium of the Ocean City Free Public Library.ALSO COMING UP: BOOK SALE (Feb. 7): The Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library will hold a one-day book sale 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. The sale will be held in the atrium of the Ocean City Free Public Library, 1735 Simpson Avenue. Shop for specially-priced books, DVDs and more.NATURE FUN-DAY (Feb. 15): All are invited to a free “Family-Friendly Nature and the Environment Fun-Day” featuring zoo animals, crafts, games, music and stories. The event will be held 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 15 in the Howard S. Stainton Senior Center within the Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Avenue). Activities will include making your own pine-cone birdfeeder. Sponsors include the Cape May County Park and Zoo, the Ocean City Environmental Commission and the Ocean City Free Public Library.U.S. AIR FORCE BAND (March 15): Enjoy a free concert given by the brass ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band 2 p.m. March 15 at the Ocean City Music Pier. The show will feature orchestral transcriptions, patriotic favorites, jazz standards, new compositions and distinctive arrangements.To reserve your tickets for the free concert, visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, stop by an Ocean City Welcome Center or call 609-399-6111. General admission seating. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. Tickets will be available starting Feb. 3. Basset hounds saunter down the Boardwalk during the 2018 Doo Dah Parade.
Never heard of Svalbard and Jan Mayen? Join the club.These Norse islands in the remote Arctic Ocean are among the few places in the world with no recorded downloads from Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH), the free and open repository for peer-reviewed literature written by Harvard faculty.With more than 20,000 items in storage, DASH is growing quickly. Since it started in 2009, the articles and dissertations in its repository have been downloaded more than 3.4 million times.DASH shows the increasing attraction of digital access to information. In May, the number of downloads was twice the number of items loaned or renewed by Harvard’s libraries, said repository manager Colin Lukens. In the same month, he said, DASH downloads exceeded the number of requests made through HOLLIS, the open-to-all platform for Harvard Library system inquiries.“The curve is up,” said Peter Suber, director of the Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC), which administers DASH. That curve will only continue to rise, he said, bringing more global exposure for faculty work to users inside and outside the academy.“We’re sharing Harvard research with everybody with an Internet connection,” he said, “not just with the people lucky enough to be affiliated with libraries rich enough to subscribe to the journals in which those authors publish.”Students of every stripe use DASH, as do teachers at community colleges, independent scholars, researchers from library-poor countries, medical patients, and legions of the merely curious. “Academics have underestimated the non-academic demand for their work,” said Suber, who is also director of the Harvard Open Access Project and a faculty fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.When the National Institutes of Health (NIH) changed PubMed, its sourcing website for biomedical research citations, to open-access, the number of users “went up a hundredfold,” said Suber. “It shows the volume of unmet demand.” And when the NIH introduced PubMed Central, a full-text, open-access research portal, 40 percent of its users came from domains unrelated to schools.University libraries can’t afford to subscribe to every journal, whose prices have been skyrocketing for years. Even the richest institutions “can’t afford to subscribe to everything their faculty and students need,” said Suber. “Academics don’t have enough access. Nobody has enough access.”Being able to download academic literature more easily creates a universe of happy users, whose voices are increasingly heard. In the last two years, DASH has allowed users to leave comments behind, and the OSC receives about five a day.“Some of these stories are very moving,” said Suber. “Users are very grateful for this growing window of research.” Messages come in from primary schools, strapped American colleges, countries where printing a PDF means waiting in line, and researchers who have to negotiate political impediments to getting information. One Iranian student, who went to DASH to access an article she needed, wrote “Having open access … was a gift.”Suber credited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the idea of soliciting user stories. “We take good ideas wherever we find them,” he said.The variety of users, and the sheer volume of downloads from DASH, often take Harvard faculty by surprise. (They get monthly updates on the fate — and popularity — of their work once it goes into the repository.) “When they see the downloads they get per month, and when they see how many countries are downloading their work,” said Suber, “they’re astonished.”Data is mapped on a macro scale on the DASH website. The darker the shade of green, the more downloads there have been in a country. The magnitude of downloads dispels an old myth still often embraced in the academy, he said: that scholars who publish in conventional journals behind pay walls, and who don’t make their articles open-access through repositories, are already reaching everyone they want to reach.There is a growing appetite for peer-reviewed literature from academic researchers and general readers. “Most scholarly authors are not aware of this larger audience,” he said.The idea of reaching that larger audience is attractive. “Scholars write journal articles for impact, not money,” said Suber. That’s been true since the mid-17th century, when the first academic journals appeared in London and in Paris, he said. “The custom grew up that scholars are not paid for their articles.” This puts scholars among the few creative professionals, like lawmakers and judges, who are not paid for what they write.“Yet they’re eager to publish anyway,” said Suber. “They voluntarily — even eagerly — give away their work to publishers who do not buy it or pay royalties on it.” Academics get other rewards for their scholarship, such as tenure and peer recognition. They also get attention, which helps build academic careers.The number of free, open digital repositories for scholarly work is growing rapidly, with an estimated 3,700 worldwide.At Harvard, copyright is not an obstacle to open access. At eight Schools, faculty members have granted the University non-exclusive rights to make their future scholarly articles accessible. (Harvard was the first university to design its open-access policies to solve copyright problems.) At Harvard Schools with such policies, Suber said, “Every faculty member can deposit in DASH without having to ask anyone else.”Suber, the author of “Open Access” (MIT Press, 2012), said, “Open access removes the barriers between authors and readers. It connects authors and readers in a way that conventional publishing cannot.”He compared conventional publishing, with its limited circulation and pay walls, to a tollbooth.“We tear down the toll booth,” he said of open-access repositories. “We make it easier for authors to find readers. We make it easier for readers to find authors.”